The WFIRST observatory will be a powerful and flexible wide-field near-infrared facility. The planned surveys will provide data applicable to an enormous variety of astrophysical science. This presentation will provide a description of the observatory and its performance characteristics. This will include a discussion of the point spread function, signal-to-noise budgets for representative observing scenarios and the corresponding limiting sensitivity. Emphasis will be given to providing prospective Guest Observers with information needed to begin thinking about new observing programs.